The referendum in Catalonia has, since Sunday morning, a face. That of a lady of a certain age, her white hair strewn with a thick thread of blood. She was wounded by the Spanish police when they were seizing electoral material. This face of the referendum will also be that of the symbolic defeat of Mariano Rajoy.
What could have passed in the head of the Spanish head of government to think that a violent neutralization of voting operations, illegal for some, legitimate for others, would sort out his affairs? The images, which are shown over and over again on social networks and news channels, are disastrous for him and for the "Spaniardist" cause he defends: police officers breaking the doors of schools, with hammers and bolt cutters, attempting to confiscate ballot boxes. It is not the unity of Spain that is attacked by the blows of truncheons, it is democracy: that is what comes out of the video vortex.
These images of brutal and disproportionate repression will not move one iota those who already have clear and definite opinions on this difficult identity issue. Over there, or here. On the other hand, in a world which tends to free itself from complexity and wants to force people "to choose yheir camp", Rajoy forced people to choose between the violence of a state nationalism and the civil disobedience of a Catalan independence movement respectful of democracy. He has nothing to gain from it. Unless he seeks, through the brutality of his police, to create a less peaceful opposition.
Spain should not take this bloody path which it knows only too well. It’s up to the Europeans, who often refer to an Union "based on a promise of peace, progress, and prosperity" (according to Macron himself) to urgently remind Rajoy of it.